Life has changed, but our position as your supporters’ group has not.
As the wheels of society begin to gather pace again and we cautiously take our first steps out of the shadows of lockdown, now is a good time to remind ourselves and those who might not understand our position. Why do we find ourselves where we do: a supporter’s group, in protest, against three individuals and their leadership of our club?
Whilst the pressure exerted by West Ham fans may have been temporarily released, with good reason, feelings remain as strong as ever. It was only right to down the tools of protest and to work quietly behind closed doors in recent months. The respite for Gold, Brady and Sullivan should not be confused for a change of heart on the part of our supporters, as recent independent surveys continue to amplify their concern.
There are plenty of reasons as to why we must continue to work on behalf of our members who yearn for a change in leadership and a new era at West Ham United Football Club. We have therefore compiled an overview of some of the actions taken under the tenure of our current custodians, the consequences of which, have led to so many of the West Ham family feeling a real disconnect with our club.
There have been way too many instances of things said by David Gold, David Sullivan and Karren Brady to supporters of WHUFC which subsequently turned out to be inaccurate. This is particularly relevant to the events prior to the sale of the Boleyn ground.
There are examples where the public behaviour of the board of directors has heaped shame, ridicule and derision onto the good name of WHUFC and its supporters.
This demonstrated behaviour is also at the root cause of the animosity felt by WHUFC supporters towards the current custodians of our club.
This simply must change.
Accordingly, on behalf of our membership and many more aggrieved and disappointed West Ham fans, Hammers United believe we are duty bound to challenge the board and in an effort to improve communication between supporters and club, request a response in no particular order from David Gold, David Sullivan and Karren Brady to the following accusations:
- The unnecessary charging of high interest rates on loans.
- The inability to reduce the levels of debt to themselves as swiftly as possible.
- The under-selling of the Clubs’ fixed assets.
- Delayed injection of equity.
- Inappropriate use of social media on topics including but not exclusive too players, transfers and inflated ambitions which have often been laughable and undermining.
- Inappropriate representation and spin using favoured media journalists and mediums.
- Gross incompetence in the execution of their roles and responsibilities, letting down the supporters of WHUFC, local businesses and residents of Newham.
- Continued failing to liaise constructively with independent supporter groups.
- Creating a lack of faith and trust in the season ticket waiting list.
- Refusing to take full away ticket allocations.
- Inadequate supporter engagement concerning redesign of the crest.
- The repeated dangerous practice of selling tickets to away fans in home areas.
- Placing commercial objectives above and capitalising on the emotional bond and loyalty supporters have with their club by attempting to rebrand West Ham United Football Club.
- Failing to deliver a world class football stadium.
- Failing to deliver a world class team.
- Delivering an unsuccessful transition to the Olympic Park and in spite of demonstrated supporter dissatisfaction, publicly labelling it as ‘the most successful ever’.
- Failing to leave a legacy of affordable housing at the site of The Boleyn Ground.
- Demonstrating poor commercial acumen in massively undervaluing the site of the Boleyn, which saw it subsequently resold, missing out on millions in potential revenue that could potentially been used to reduce club debts owed.
- Failing to ‘look after’ the traders from the Boleyn, and not preserving our identity there.
- Failure to deliver on the promise of ‘World Class transport links’, with the journey times of many supporters considerably increased compared to the journey to the Boleyn.
- Inadequately engaging with season ticket holders about the new seating reconfiguration.
- Seeking to censor and influence broadcasters and journalists, particularly concerning supporter views on anything critical or potentially negative regarding the Club manner the club is being run in.
So today we invite David Gold, David Sullivan, and Karren Brady to publicly refute these accusations and invite them to meet us and help us understand the reasoning behind so many mistakes made under their tenure.
At a time when we are all positively looking forward to getting fans back into football stadiums, it is perhaps noteworthy to recall the last home game fans could attend at West Ham saw the largest ever public protest by our supporters (and possibly at any other English Club) over its mismanagement.
The leadership team at West Ham are on record as saying they are but custodians of ‘Our Club’ so after yet another season of abject failure delivered by them, and in light of the massive challenges to be faced ahead in a post-pandemic world, it is with great disappointment that we advise you that our members and many more West ham fans grow ever more fearful for it, and it’s future under your stewardship.
Hammers United remain committed to working hard to improve things for all West Ham United supporters and whilst we welcome the recent positive steps taken in regard to supporter engagement, will stand strong in representing whatever stance our members ask us to adopt as their association.
We will keep you updated as to the response of the club.